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Shetland Islands Suffer Another SHEFA2 Fibre Optic Cable Break

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 (8:05 am) - Score 918
shetland fibre optic cable ship shefa2

The Shetland Islands, which reside someway north of Scotland, have once again suffered a serious break in their main SHEFA-2 (Faroese Telecom) submarine (subsea) fibre optic cable, which links the remote communities broadband and phones services with the UK mainland.

Thankfully the island community hasn’t been too badly hurt because related traffic has instead been diverted onto SHEFA-2’s backup route, which connects Faroe and Iceland to the United Kingdom via way of the separate FARICE-1 cable. The operator responsible for helping to establish the original link, Shetland Telecom, has issued the following update via a Facebook post.

Shetland Telecom Update

BROADBAND services in Shetland have been largely unaffected by a break in the main fibre optic cable linking the islands to the mainland south of Orkney on Monday morning, the cause of which is unknown.

Related cable breaks can occur for a variety of different reasons, although the most common cause is fishing trawlers. It’s unclear how long it will take for the cable break to be fixed, although in the past such incidents have been resolved after several weeks (i.e. the time that it takes to organise and dispatch a cable repair ship, like the one pictured).

One other downside to this incident is the likelihood that it will also affect plans to move the position of the cable off Orkney, which was set to take place in August 2014. The break itself is believed to have occurred off the south-east corner of Orkney.

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